The long holiday weekend will translate into a huge economic boost for San Diego, as thousands of visitors flock here for the beaches, parks and tourist attractions.
Hotel occupancy is at 99 percent and hotel tax revenue is estimated at $2.5 million. Visitors will bring in $70 million for America’s Finest City, according to San Diego Tourism Authority numbers.
Local tourism officials have seen a surge in visitors this year; since the beginning of the year, hotels have seen record occupancy rates.
They credit the ongoing regional tourism marketing in California, Arizona and the Pacific Northwest as well as a boost in international visitors for the high rates.
“We expect to see an uphill climb in the next several years” of international travel here,” said Joe Terzi, CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority.
“A lot of people think it’s all hotel spending,” Terzi said. “But when you think about it, it’s restaurants, it’s attractions, it’s entertainment. It’s all the great things that happen in San Diego. Our arts and cultural community. Everyone really benefits when a tourist comes to town.”
Nearly half of our visitors come from California, Arizona and Nevada, but the Tourism Authority now has a $9 million promotional campaign that extends to Portland, Seattle, Denver and major media markets in Texas.
Plus, the tourism marketing now extends to other countries.
“We’re promoting San Diego on an international basis,” said San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts. “We’re doing it in Europe. We’re doing it in Asia. The Asian tourism is increasing dramatically. We want those people to know about San Diego and we’d love to have them as visitors.”
Tourism is San Diego’s leading industry behind manufacturing and the military. Hotel room taxes go to the city’s general fund, for basic public safety and services spending.